Friday, October 31

Treats for tomorrow

I've just made a bunch of chocolate fudge cupcakes for Lady Windermere's Halloween party. I'm really pleased with the purple frosting. Photo taken with my phone, hence the pale colors.

Wednesday, October 29

An inspiring jacket

Anyone who's seen me out and about during the past week has noticed
my new jacket. It's a brown leather jacket by DePalma from last year's collection, and it was love at first sight when I found it at the back of the HepCat Store.

It's inspired by the jackets worn by female pilots during WWII. Women were not allowed to fly planes in combat but hundreds of women served as ferry pilots, test pilots and instructors.
In the US more than a thousand women joined the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots). In the UK 150 female pilots were a part of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary). Many of these women served in though conditions for a modest salary and without any of the benefits that were offered to male pilots.

I remember reading some of these women's stories in "Debs at War" by Anne De Courcy. A brilliant book by the way.

Radio Diaries has made a great documentary called The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII. It can be streamed from their website. You can read the story behind Radio Diaries and the making of the documentary here.

Photo courtesy of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

I've already put a few books about these kick-ass women on my wishlist for Christmas. Suggestions for further reading are more than welcome.

Tuesday, October 28

Gearing up for Halloween

Halloween card created with picnic © Punk In Writing

I know it's a few days away, but I'm excited and fussing over my costume. I've got a pumpkin in my kitchen window and bats in the bookshelves. Not real ones. Well the pumpkin is real but the bats aren't.

I'm listening to Creepshow, Horrorpops, Groovie Ghoulies and Nekromantix. My jack-o'-lanterns are going up as soon as I can decide where to put them.
I'm looking up recipes for Devilish Eggs and mini cupcakes for Lady Windermere's party.

And Halloween isn't complete without a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

How are you preparing for Halloween?

Sunday, October 26

Manga! at Louisiana

Untitled © Yoshitaka Amano, 2006

Went to check out the exhibition Manga! at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark yesterday. Very cool. But then I've never seen a bad exhibition at Louisiana.

If you're in the area it's always worth a visit. The location is beautiful and I can't help spending money in the museum shop, even if my art budget is really slim.

Manga! seemed to appeal to a slightly younger audience than Louisiana's regular visitors and it was fun to see a lot of young faces and some hiphoppers checking out the exhibits alongside the slightly older and henna-colored affectionados of modern art.
I don't really know which visitor category I belong to, since consider myself somewhat young and hip but have visited Louisiana since childhood. I'm fairly certain I'm not henna-colored.

Think Pink

Me and Lady Windermere are doing the right thing and sipping pink berry martinis in support of breast cancer research. If you see a slight resemblance between the two of us it's because we're sisters.

The pink cocktails are part of Hard Rock Café's pinktober campaign to fight breast cancer. I'm not a big fan of the color pink, but Lady Windermere is. Personally I prefer purple. But I'm prepared to endure pink for a good cause.

Wednesday, October 22

La Dolce Vegan

I love when I find a new place to shop that has all those hard to find items and quality customer service. My new favourite place to spend money is Vegan Essentials.
They've got a good selection of stuff, are reasonably priced and they ship at the speed of light. An order I placed last Friday arrived today! From the US!

As a vegetarian I'm used to checking labels and scrutinising food in restaurants. That's why places like Vegan Essentials, Astrid och Aporna (an organic and vegetarian supermarket in Malmö) and Vegegården (vegetarian chinese restaurant in Malmö) are such a treat.

So point the vegans and vegetarians in your life towards Vegan Essentials!

Monday, October 20

Cupcake Crazy

I think I must have channeled Martha Stewart in my sleep, because I woke up feeling a need to make cupcakes. I started looking at food blogs and we all know how that ends.

I decided to make a basic vanilla cupcake recipe and focus on the frosting. I made one batch of cupcakes but divided the mixture into small and medium cupcake liners.
I covered the smaller ones with a vanilla buttercream frosting and a cherry on top.

The bigger ones got a coat of classic Swedish icing (water and confectioners sugar) colored dark grey. I then used licorice rope as legs and licorice allsorts as eyes.

Now I've only got one problem. Who's gonna eat all these cupcakes and save me from a sugar rush that's gonna last for days?

Wednesday, October 15

So that's the secret?

Stevyn posted this wonderful article on his blog, just had to share it. Read it if you want to know the secret to a long life...

Personally I prefer quality over quantity. But I must admit that life in a monastery does sound tempting from time to time. Just think how peaceful life would be without men around, and how much more time could be spent doing productive things instead of trying to interpret their words and actions.

For some reason I get on really well with men in their 40s, it's the younger ones that have me all confused. Sometimes I wish they would come with a manual and flow charts from Google Analytics.

Monday, October 13

Machine Gun Punky

I was out on the town with some colleagues this weekend. Got into an argument with one of the guys in the group who'd obviously read "The Game" by Neil Strauss, a book that supposedly teaches men how to become pick-up artists.

At first it was kinda fun, but he soon became more and more annoying. So I started talking back. I'm used to being the only woman in a group of guys (hello Saint 21 crew!) and am known for being able to hold my own. I enjoy debating and throwing comments back and forth, it's a challenge of wits and quick thinking.
Most of the guys I am around give as good as they get, and when it gets too much we just laugh it of and admit defeat or buy the other person a drink.

But Mr Annoying just threw out comment after comment and didn't follow through, so time after time I shot him down. Much to the delight of his colleague and his friend.
But I didn't do it all on my own. I had plenty of support and two great sidekicks in K and Sandrina.
Anyway, at one point Mr Annoying tried to insult me by calling me a machine gun. I took it as a compliment, even if I consider myself more of a sharpshooter.
It wasn't me who looked like a goldfish on dry land by the end of the evening.

Friday, October 10

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

This is the best thing I've found on YouTube in a long time. The Andrews Sisters singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)".

The Andrews Sisters were the first female vocal group to recieve a gold record and 46 of their songs reached top 10 status on the Billboard chart. That's more than Elvis or The Beatles. The Andrews Sisters also starred in 17 Hollywood movies.

Wednesday, October 8

It's a Country kind of Wednesday

I'm wearing cowboy boots, jeans without turn ups and my hair is in a ponytail. I'm listening to Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells while I'm looking at shirts at Sheplers.

Where's a horse when you need one?

Monday, October 6

Gaiman's Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book raced past every other book in my neat stack when I found it at the sci-fi bookstore. Sorry Russel Brand and Vivian Cash, your autobiographies will just have to wait.

I read Neil Gaiman's blog from time to time so I've followed his work on the book. There is a clip on his website where he explains the origins of the book.
Neil Gaiman updates like crazy and he is posting the entire book in the form of readings from his book tour for free. So far the first six chapters have been posted.
You can find them here.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm on page 120 and I need to get reading...
But I will say that if you liked his earlier work you'll love The Graveyard Book. And if you haven't seen Stardust, you should.

Stirring Up Dust Bunnies and Memories

The windows in my building are being replaced, so I'm woken up by builders every morning. It's a real treat, especially when I've worked nights and collapse in my bed about five hours before they ring the doorbell.

Moving furniture and plants around so the builders can get to the windows is a bit tedious, but it's also an opportunity to sort through stuff that just sits in boxes. And clean out some dustbunnies the size of Texas.

In one box I came across some old photos and notes from school. There was also a mixtape from my friend S, a girl who introduced me to bands like Barenaked Ladies, Sister Hazel and The Levellers.
We both had a crush on Liam Howlett from The Prodigy, swapped mixtapes and talked about rock n roll boys when we were supposed to pay attention to the teacher.

S told me about her parents who hadn't shared a bedroom for years but still stayed together to keep up appearances. There always seemed to be a lot of tension in her home, but she rarely wanted to talk about it and I didn't want to pry.

We lost touch after graduating upper secondary school but I ran into her a few years later. She told me she was living with a guy who didn't love her and told her so, but it was better than being alone. If I could I would have pulled a Dickensian "Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future" on her parents and showed them what their way of life had done to their daughter. I'd probably have bitch slapped them too.

Because they were scared of what others thought of them they stayed in a bad relationship and taught their daughter that it's more important to be with someone than to be happy.
It's been a few years since I ran into S. I hope she's finally understood what I always told her; that she deserves to be loved and shouldn't settle for less.

Divorce is hard, but staying together for the kids is one of the worst concepts I've ever heard of.

Saturday, October 4

Our work is never over

There is always something going on at the garage. Even if it's only Rob and his computer.

Yesterday Jimmy cleared out the back room. We're gonna build a lounge where the printers used to work, and he managed to get all the gear out of there by himself. He also managed to unplug the fridge and leave it like that over night, but we still love him.

We got a new batch of pomade complete with a note from the custom officials asking us what the stuff in the cans is and how much we've paid for it. That means they have no clue what we're importing or what it's worth.

Friday, October 3

Saint 21, the blog

There's another blog in town! Me and the boys have just started a Saint 21 blog. We'll post news, sneak previews, happenings and a lot of photos from behind the scenes.

"Saint 21 is our home, rock n roll is our game. We're the heart of retro culture in Southern Sweden and run a store, a record label, give lindy hop classes, put on shows, clubs and art happenings.

Our house Saint 21, aka the garage, used to be the ambulance garage at Saint Lars insane asylum. To us it feels like home."

We wanted our own reality show, but since our budget is a pot of coffee and a box of biscuits we're staring with a blog. One small step toward world domination!